Friday, July 18, 2008

I Guess Charity Really DOES Begin At Home

You know, it's a horrible thing to admit, I guess, but I always seem to overlook, or take advantage of the fact that I live in a nice home, have a terrific husband and three good kids, so I don't often "brag" about much. Not only am I truly grateful for all of that, but I can also brag about the little things: the fact tjhat my husband (who had the day off from work today) let me go back to sleep this afternoon after waking me up this morning in the nicest of ways; or that he's behind me right now, not only making dinner for all of us, but baking cookies too! :) I can mention that my little one, who's not quite two, says "please" and "thank you" when she asks for and receives something. I can say that my oldest two really do try to help each other out, and play nicely together -- for the most part! ;) (They're not perfect, but they are good kids.)

But that's not my real brag. Here's what is. I needed to run errands one day last week, and I dropped my son off at the Boys and Girls Club first (to let him spend time with his friends), and took my girls with me. We did a bunch of stuff, which took us to several different locations, the last of which was the grocery store, to pick up a few things for dinner, and to yet another grocery store to pick up my prescription (that was a last minute decision... if I had thought about doing that in advance, I would have combined those last two trips into one!)

Perched in front of the first grocery store we stopped at was a middle-aged man, ringing a Salvation Army bell, and sitting next to the big, red, cast iron bucket. My oldest daughter immediately turned to me and asked for some change, which I just so happened to have in my wallet (and believe me.... that's RARE these days!). I gave her fifty cents, and she took pure delight in dropping the coins in the bucket. Kerplunk. Kerplunk.

When I decided to stop into the next store to pick up my prescription, just for the mere fact that I could be DONE with everything and not need to do anything else for the week (see....there was some rationale behind two trips to two different grocery stores! :), there was yet another gentleman parked next to yet ANOTHER Salvation Army kettle. 'Tis the season, after all.

Without hesitation, my oldest daughter reached into her OWN coat pocket, and pulled out one of her own quarters. She'd gotten a book from Barnes and Noble earlier in the day (on one of our stops), and I told her she could keep the change, which amounted to two shiny new quarters. Now, here she was, a few hours later, giving up some of her precious loot to this man's red bucket.

When she walked back to me, I told her she didn't have to do that....that we'd already given some money tonight and that could have sufficed as enough. She said, "I know, Mama...but we're helping people. And that's what we're SUPPOSED to do."

Out of the mouths of babes....

~~Originally posted on my MySpace blog on November 30, 2006

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